4to5 K budget, 3 level acres, WHICH ZTR?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Jswatson2, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Jswatson2

    Jswatson2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Never owned a ZTR before so I am a complete novice but I want to buy a decent mower that will last a long time.

    Any advice is appreciated.
  2. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    There are quite a few mowers that will fit your needs. Just have a couple of questions.

    Have you ever mowed with a ZTR? Do you enjoy mowing or do you want it done as quickly as possible?

    The reason I ask is that there are several sizes of decks capable of cutting three acres. Larger decks will do it quicker but with additional cost.
  3. Jswatson2

    Jswatson2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I have never used a ZTR before. I do enjoy mowing and working in the yard. However, because I have 4 children, my life dictates that I finish mowing quickly so that I can move on to other things.

    I was thinking that a 54" deck would do fine. Do you agree?
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,647

    Id just get a craftsman lawn "tractor", they last a long time, Im sure one of the 4 kids would love to use the thing. ZTRS are dangerous and dont have many attachments lkie a tractor has.
  5. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    Yes, a 54" mower will do the job done pretty quick. Even a 48" ZTR will do the job just fine. A decent 42" ZTR would work but it would take longer. A 60" ZTR would cost more and might be overkill for your needs/budget.

    A 48" ZTR will cost less than the 54" for a couple of reasons (assuming the same grade of mower). Main reason will be engine size necessary to power the unit.

    And Larry has a good point. A rider/tractor will also do the same job (just not a quick but at a lower cost).
  6. Jswatson2

    Jswatson2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Ok. That's all good info.

    Now, in my price range, what brands will give me the best bang for my buck in the ZTR and lawn tractor markets?
  7. Jswatson2

    Jswatson2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Forgot to mention that's get 15% off at tractor supply. They sell Bad Boy and Cub Cadet.

    I don't hear good things about Bad Boy. The Cubs get decent ratings on their tractors but not so good on their ZTRs. Thought?
  8. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    You will need a mower that is in the "estate" or "light commercial" range to get a new ZTR in the 4 to 5 K price.

    Check out the Husqvarna MZ 5225 or the Dixon Ultra 52. They are the same mower.

    Others. The Bob Cat Fast Cat RZ series, Ariens Zoom series, Also check out Gravely GT series (Ariens sister mower).

    Have you checked out the mowers for sale on this site? You can also check craigslist and ebay for used (and truly commercial) ZTRs.
  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,647

    The Ariens at Home Depoit look decient.

    A lot of fellers use the Toro Tomecutters commerically so they must be decient, I think they have independant hydros so you have a maintance free system.

    A lot of my friends have bopught cub cadet tractors and are happy with them, they have heaver decks than craftsman and are around the same price.

    The problwm now is the "box" stores wont have a good secection until spring.
  10. Brules

    Brules LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Oklahoma
    Messages: 958

    For $4-5k Look at the Hustler Fastraks, Scag Freedom Z (little about 5k), The new Kubota mower coming out, and the Gravely HD mowers.

    Any of those are 100000000000000000000x better than anything you can buy at Lowes, Home Depot etc and will last much much longer.

    For 3 acres a ZTR will run circles around a tractor mower and will get you on and off the mower in a fraction of the time. Unless you like riding a mower for hours on end, a ZTR is the way to go.

    Hustler Fastrak: $5300
    Scag Freedom Z: $5k
    Kubota ZG series: $4500-$5500

    A 48" ZTR would cut your 3 acres easily, for the price difference to go up to 52-54", it is not worth the price, as you will make a few more passes to account for the deck difference, no biggie.

    With regular oil changes, air filter and fuel filter - the above mowers should last a long, long time, vs 3-5 years for the el cheapos at the big box stores.

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